Oskar Voxlauer is in flight from his past—from his bourgeois Austrian upbringing; from horrific memories of fighting on the Italian front in 1917 as a teenage recruit; and from the twenty years he has spent in the Ukraine watching his socialist ideals crumble and the life of the woman he loved slowly waste away. Alone, he finally decides to return to the Austrian village of his birth, where his mother is waiting to greet a son she hasn’t seen since he was a boy.
But the year is 1938, and despite Oskar’s attempt to live a reclusive existence as a gamekeeper in the hills, he cannot escape the tensions that are threatening the once tranquil village of Niessen. Hitler marches into Austria and the Black Shirts come to the valley. Voxlauer watches as his Jewish friend and benefactor is driven to ruin. The only things saving him—a “Red,” a deserter and a “Yid lover”—from the attentions of the SS seem to be the respect the community has for his parents and his growing love for the mysterious Else Bauer, cousin of the new SS Führer.
In his extraordinary first novel, John Wray has given both a poetic evocation of the Austrian landscape and an acute portrait of the dark side of its past. His subtle and human understanding of the ambiguities of history, the complexities of his characters and the stunning richness of his prose mark him as one of America’s most gifted new writers.
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“Extraordinary; haunting.” – The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant. . . . . A truly arresting work of fiction. . . . Is it really possible, the reader will wonder, for a young American to have written such a book?” – The New York Times Book Review
“Elegantly written, hypnotic.”– The Washington Post Book Review
“Studded with precise, exquisite descriptions. . . . Wray is capable of writing with almost painful tenderness.... The Right Hand of Sleep make[s] another time seem astonishingly alive.” – Chicago Tribune
“[Wray] writes with an assurance that makes his [hero] both complex and compelling.” – Los Angeles Times Book Review
“One of the most gratifying events of the literary year . . . [ The Right Hand of Sleep] satisfies on the deepest level of which fiction is capable.” – Memphis Commercial Appeal
“A taut, searing portrait.” – Literary Review [UK]
“Stark and evocativeÉ A finely drawn portrait of a man who finds peace with himself at a time when the rest of the world is falling apart.” – Time Out
This extraordinary debut novel from Whiting Writers? Award winner John Wray is a poetic portrait of a life redeemed at one of the darkest moments in world history.
Twenty years after deserting the army in the first world war, Oskar Voxlauer returns to the village of his youth. Haunted by his past, he finds an uneasy peace in the mountains?but it is 1938 and Oskar cannot escape from the rising tide of Nazi influence in town. He attempts to retreat to the woods, only to be drawn back by his own conscience and the chilling realization that the woman whose love might finally save him is bound to the local SS commander . Morally complex, brilliantly plotted, and heartbreakingly realized, The Right Hand of Sleep marks the beginning of an important literary career.
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Book Description Knopf, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0375406514
Book Description Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... New York: Alfred A. Knopf . First edition. First printing. Hardbound. NEW/NEW. A tight unread copy, which comes in an acid-free, archival-quality mylar dust jacket wrapper. New, unopened. Bookseller Inventory # jm068
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition.... New York: Pantheon . First edition. First printing. Hardbound. As New/As New. A nice unread copy, pristine. [c-s] 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # may6
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97803754065151.0
Book Description Knopf, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110375406514
Book Description Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... New York: Alfred A. Knopf . First edition. First printing. Hardbound. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. New, in dust jacket. A pristine unread copy. Very fine/very fine in all repsects. Comes with mylar dust jacket protector. Smoke free shop. Shipped in sturdy box with bubble wrap. The author's first novel. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # have21
Book Description Knopf New York, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... PERFECT SIGNED US FIRST PRINTING. Very superior edition from this fine publisher. Bought direct on publication, signed on the title page without dedication, just a signature. Stored in a low light book room. Perfect jacket is protected. Ragged leading edge, acid free paper, this is a superb example of book production. Language: eng Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-3409151752